A new informational campaign will use diner place mats to remind drivers to move over or slow down when they see emergency responders stopped on the side of NJ roadways.
At 450 diners throughout New Jersey, the coloring pages distributed to children are now more than a distraction to keep them busy. They’re also an effort to educate the public about a law that intends to protect first responders.
500,000 place mats describing the state’s Move Over law are to be distributed to 450 diners throughout New Jersey through a partnership between the Middlesex County Law and Public Safety Committee and the Middlesex County Comprehensive Traffic Safety Program, the New Jersey Department of Health and Traffic Safety, the New Jersey State Police, and Pan Gregorian Enterprises.
The place mats advertise that drivers in New Jersey must, by law, move over one lane away from stopped emergency response vehicles. If they cannot move over, they must slow down to the posted speed limit. Failure to do so may result in the driver being ticketed.
The Move Over law was passed in 2009, but officials at a Tuesday press conference said the public isn’t adequately aware of it.
One of the most known cases involving this law was the death of 29-year-old State Trooper Marc Castellano, who was struck by a car and killed in June 2010 while investigating an abandoned vehicle on a Howell highway.
In March, the Marlboro Police Department honored Castellano at its Community Excellence Gala and with their Police Unity Tour ride to Washingtown D.C.
According to information provided by Middlesex County, since 2007, there have been nearly 30,000 crashes in roadside work zones in New Jersey, resulting in nearly 10,000 injuries and 70 deaths.
Additionally, 3,200 citations have been written to drivers throughout New Jersey for failure to move over when in range of a stopped emergency response vehicle on the side of the road, according to the county.
At the site of the press conference outside the Edison Diner, Castellano’s picture was prominently displayed as the face of the campaign, and his mother, Donna Setaro, praised the work of the groups involved.